Wells Fargo pays $217M for two new Downtown East buildings

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 6, 2014 - 5:21 AM

The bank plans to move 5,000 employees into two 17-story office towers to be built near the new Vikings stadium.

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Wells Fargo’s two 17-story office towers will cover two blocks facing a new public park near the Downtown East light-rail station.

Photo: Architect’s rendering provided by Ryan Cos.,

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Wells Fargo & Co. has solidified plans for its expansion in downtown Minneapolis by paying developer Ryan Cos. $217 million for land and two office towers that have yet to be built near the new Vikings stadium, according to city documents.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo plans to move 5,000 employees into the two 17-story office towers, which are part of a $400 million mixed-use development known as Downtown East.

The transaction, dated Feb. 7, is one of the largest involving downtown Minneapolis commercial property in recent history. Last year, Florida-based Beacon Real Estate Services acquired the 57-story IDS Center, said to be the tallest building in Minnesota, for $253 million.

Ryan plans to develop the project on five largely barren blocks on the eastern portion of downtown, including the dual office towers, 200 apartments, a parking ramp, restaurant space, retail shops and a nearly two-block public park.

In early February, Ryan closed on its $30.8 million purchase of four blocks from the Star Tribune. The deal included land that will be used for the Wells Fargo buildings, which will be built between S. 3rd and 4th Streets and Park and 5th Avenues.

A fifth block, also owned by the media company, was purchased for $7.7 million by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing construction of the $1 billion stadium. That block will be used for a 1,610-stall parking facility, plus additional development above the ramp that has not yet been approved by the city.

A certificate of real estate value filed with the city indicates that the price paid by Wells Fargo is subject to adjustments and additional costs associated with interior finishes to the two buildings. Wells Fargo has said it will invest about $300 million in the 1.1-million-square-foot project. Currently, the bank employs about 7,000 people in 14 buildings throughout downtown Minneapolis.

Construction of the new office towers, which will be connected by a skyway, is to begin this spring. The buildings are expected to achieve the coveted LEED Platinum standard for environmental sustainability set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Late last month, Wells Fargo confirmed that it was cutting 203 employees, largely from its Home Mortgage campus in south Minneapolis, as demand for mortgages declines.

 

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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